The Dragori Series Review


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Content Warning: Blood, Violence, Bullying, Caged/Captive, Trauma, Manipulation, Abuse, Death, War


The Dragori series by Ben Alderson consists of: Cloaked in Shadow, Found in Night, and Poisoned in Light. The books follow Zacriah Trovirn as his life is up-ended and thrown into chaos he didn’t choose. However, during this adventure, he learns more about himself, what he is, and the devastating past that has reunited the Dragori again. 

This whirlwind of a series is one of romance, heartache, and action; one that could leave you on the edge of your seat. But don’t hold your breath quite yet. There are a handful of factors that prevent this series from reaching its full potential. 


  • Diverse characters
  • Strong plot ideas
  • Sequels pick up right after the previous book


  • No map
  • Told not shown/info dumping
  • Lots of proofreading/editing issues
  • Flat characters
  • Rather dull/boring at times
  • Not a lot of romantic elements (less than I expected)


The entire premise behind the Dragori series is creative and set up wonderfully, however it was not executed well. What do I mean by this? Well, the history, the conflict, and the build-up were all there, but the sense of urgency and danger in present-day events was missing. 

I knew what the character’s next steps were and why they needed to do them, but it didn’t seem important or urgent in writing. 

An example is with Hadrian when his heart magic set in. The group was searching for a way to save him, but the story didn’t portray the urgency of the mission; that if the group failed then Hadrian would be lost to the Druid and used for destruction.

With this in mind, I had questions throughout the series that were never answered.

  1. Who is ruling over Olderium?
  2. Was anyone coming to recover Hadrian?
  3. Why did Hadrian pledge to protect the people of Ednol instead of his own people?

These seem like rather large plot holes, especially since Olderium’s prince is absent or kidnapped, whatever the Druid came up with. I understand the need to gain Ednol as an ally and utilize their resources to further study the Druid, but everyone could have left and picked up the fight from home. There wasn’t really anything keeping them in Lilloria. 

Outside of the plot holes and the lack of urgency, I’d like to bring up the much anticipated sex scene. This event has been building up for 2 books and within a few pages, it happens. It was nothing special, no build-up, just out of the blue!

This scene also happened at one of the weirdest and inopportune times in the story: on a boat with sea sickness and a large crew waiting for them. It was just odd and I was disappointed in how everything transpired. 

Besides these flaws, I enjoyed the creativity of the series. The magic, the history, and general world-building were fun and unique. We received plenty of twists and turns, surprises and action throughout. Which kept me entertained for the most part (the third book is where it lost me, though). 


I’d like to start by saying that I loved almost every pairing in this series. I thought they were each a great fit and complemented each party well. 

Zacriah Trovirn

At first, Zacriah was tough to pin down. I couldn’t figure out his personality as he would contradict himself in the beginning of the series. For example, he was scared/nervous to interfere with Hadrian and the commander at the time, but turns around and has an angry outburst.

However, after the first book, Zacriah evolved into someone who was more mentally sound, braver, and comfortable in his own skin/abilities.  He started taking charge– though sometimes he failed, but that’s okay! He tried. 

Regardless, I still enjoyed Zacriah as a character because he was tender, yet fierce. He built himself up and pushed for what he believed in. Sometimes his antics would get annoying, but who isn’t annoying sometimes?


Hadrian was a great character. I enjoyed him when he was actually awake and interacting. He was confident and casual, just strolling around and taking charge as needed like the prince he is. However, he simply didn’t see him enough.

Out of the entire series, he was playing an active role for maybe 35-40% of it. The rest, he was either somewhere else or unconscious. 

I wish I could say more about him, but there isn’t much to go on.


I enjoyed Nyah. She was strong, doting, had the brains and bronze of the group and was overall a badass bitch. However, she was definitely a Mary Sue. 

Nyah didn’t really have any flaws, everyone liked her (besides Hadrian at first), and she handled any tough situation without issue. She knew how to take care of everyone and navigate every difficult situation, and her only “flaw” was that she was a moth. But that came in handy quite a bit later on. 

So, while I liked Nyah, I wish she was more realistic. 


Gordex was surprisingly a great villain. I didn’t know what to make of him at first, as we didn’t have a lot of information. However, as we dove into the third book more, his gray characteristics started to shine.

I would honestly forget at times that Gordex was the villain, because he seemed so cordial and helpful, especially toward Zac and Marthil. He talked calmly at times and seemed so put together, even when he was committing atrosities. 

Then, within a blink of an eye, he would manipulate and kill someone. There was no remorse for anything he did. It was moments like these that really showcased how complex of a character Gordex is. 

I actually ended up liking him because of these complexities, but nonetheless, he finally got what he deserved. 

Side Characters


I liked Emaline. She was a great contrast to Zac and Hadrian. She was independent, closed off, and hard-headed at times. Her and Zac’s relationship was great in the second book, but I wish we saw more of it later on.

Emaline was a great character, but we just didn’t see enough of her to make a big impact on me.


I hated Illera at the beginning. She was such a bitch that when I found out Gordex was using the shifters, I was kind of glad. She got what she deserved.

But then, she came back in the second book as a completely different character. She was more mindful, respectful, and nicer to those around her. Illera’s soul-searching journey to this place was awesome to learn about.

To have a character switch from a bully to a softer and open-minded person was beautiful. And I really applaud Alderson for writing Illera’s development this way. 


Contrary to Illera, Petrer was an intriguing character at the beginning. We were kept in the dark about what he did that made Zacriah not want anything to do with him. But once we found out, he was instantly on my shit list.

This led to a great build-up for him being an antagonist. He switched from love interest to villain well in the first and second books, but it fizzled out quickly in the third.

He had so much potential to cause harm and conflict, but it wasn’t utilized. I love a good switch from good to bad, and I’m a bit disappointed in how his character panned out in the end. 


Writing a book, let alone a series, is intense, but the characters, world, and development shouldn’t shroud the need for proofreading and general editing. 

Throughout the series, there were many instances where words were spelled wrong, the grammar was off, or there was an awkward transition– almost as if a piece was cut out and the two halves not blended together. To top it off, a character’s name was spelled in different ways on the same page until later it was ironed out to be Simain instead of Samain.

This forced me to re-read whole sections and lines to figure out what was going on, which pulled me from the story. Proofreading is important and I cannot stress enough how aggravating it was for me to stop and try to figure out what Alderson was trying to say. 

On top of this, we were told about events or people instead of shown. For example, Zac’s relationship with Gallion was said to be like father and son. However, we were only told that at various points, but we never really got to see it. Thus making me confused and doubt what I read.

Because what was shown to the reader was a stand-offish old man who seemed a bit senile. I didn’t see any bonding moments that would lead me to believe the two were close and Zacriah looked up to Gallion; only that they had the same goal and were co-workers in a sense. 

Another example is when we were told about Hadrian’s personality in the first book. It was said he was witty and flirty, but we didn’t see any of that until the second book really. We were only told he was that way without dialog or actions supporting it. 

This all led to info-dumping on the world, history, and characters. There were points when we received a bunch of information with little exposition or support, especially in book 3 on Morgatis. 

We were finding out a lot of information about the Morthi people and the Druid himself to the point that it was bogging down the story. I easily forgot information that was shared with us before or would forget what I just read because it was too much to take in. 

I would have loved to see more character interactions instead of it all being skipped, similar to how we saw Zac and Nyah interact. I wanted more of that, but with other characters. 

Outside of those issues, the writing was quite simple. The character dialog started out rough in the first book, but by the second there was a huge improvement, making reading more enjoyable. 

The diverse group of characters was also nice. There was a variety of sexual orientations, skin colors, and hair textures. Stereotypes were also broken, i.e. women in power and more built, and men leaner and in more sensitive scenes. I loved it!

Final Thoughts

This series’s twists and turns kept me engaged, but not enough to fully read the third book as I skimmed the last 50% and read the final 4 chapters. I expected more out of the series, like world-building and less info-dumping, but I wasn’t mad that I read the series either. 

In the end, the Dragori series was a solid read; not my favorite nor least favorite. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes YA high fantasy with little romance, though it is the driving factor.

What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Check out the links below to see my “to-read” list, my spicy rating scale, the author’s website, and a chance to recommend a book for me.

My Goodreads Page | Spicy Rating ScaleScarlett St. Clair’s Website

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